Why Isn’t There a Lego Batman Comic? Can Funko Fill the Gap?

Ghostbusters: Funko Universe Variant

With the success of The Lego Batman Movie — perhaps the best Batman movie, combining adventure, heroics, comedy, satisfying use of a wide range of related characters, and a knowing awareness of the diversity of the character’s history — the question has obviously been asked: Why isn’t DC putting out a Lego Batman comic? Certainly, there would be some licensing deals to negotiate, but they’ve been navigated before, with a whole month of Lego character covers in November 2014.

It seems like an obviously missed opportunity, but sometimes publishers don’t want to give customers that much of a choice. After all, if a Lego Batman comic came out and was widely successful, the question might arise why the “real” Batman books didn’t do as well. Some creators only want to work on the version of the character they like best, and outreach to families and non-traditional comic readers isn’t always a priority.

But if you’re looking for cute, toy-inspired renditions of familiar characters, IDW is giving you an option. In May, they’re launching Funko Month, inspired by the big-headed, dot-eyed collectible vinyl figures.

There will be five one-shot comics tagged “Funko Universe”, one each for Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The X-Files, Strawberry Shortcake, and Judge Dredd. (What a range!) Of course, there are also variant covers. The comics are $4.99 each for the regular or toy variants; the retailer variant covers will be more. (Those images aren’t all available yet.) The gallery below has art credits and Diamond order codes.

In addition to these full comics, other IDW comics in May will have Funko variant covers. Most of them aren’t available to see yet, but they’ll include

  • Dirk Gently: The Salmon of Doubt #8
  • Donald Duck #20
  • Mickey Mouse #20
  • Orphan Black: Deviations #3
  • The Powerpuff Girls: The Time Tie #1 — should be interesting, since the girls are already Funko-shaped
  • Star Trek: Boldly Go #8
  • Walt Disney’s Comics & Stories #738
  • and Back to the Future #20, shown here, art by Mike Martin

Back to the Future #20 Funko variant cover by Mike Martin

(You’ll notice that the many Hasbro IDW comics, such as G.I. Joe, Transformers, and My Little Pony aren’t included, since they’re from a competing toy maker. Shame, I would have liked to have seen a Funko ROM. I’d say it’s silly to do a toy variant of a toy line, but that didn’t stop the Strawberry Shortcake issue.)

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